A spider web clinging to a crevice in a rock cliff

Opportunist Spiders

Home sweet Home. Spider webs are a familiar sight everywhere inland from ditches to gardens, to inside your house. Spiders are opportunists and will set up camp anywhere they believe they will catch food. In this case, an Orb-web spider has set up his home on a sheer cliff -face down at Baginbun, literally metres…

An orange butterfly with brown spots on a blackberry flower.

Silver-washed Fritillary

The Silver-washed Fritillary is our largest resident butterfly and is especially found in the south of Ireland. It gets its name from the silvery splashes on its under wings. A powerful flier, it prefers thin, broad leaved woodland where it can be seen gliding back and forth along sunny pathways feeding on the nectar of…

A group of gannets with one perched on a rock above the rest

Gannets

Gannet is derived from the Old English for strong or masculine. Northern Gannets are the largest seabird in the North Atlantic, having a wingspan of up to 2 meters. You can often see these birds hunting fish by nose diving, arrow like into the water. They can dive from a height of 30 meters which…

A head of a Grey Seal just poking above the water.

Grey Seals

Say hi to Podge and Rodge! Whilst scanning with my binoculars from Hook Head over the water toward Dunmore East the other day, these two kept popping up to see what I was up to. So I said I’d give them their 15 minutes of fame! Grey seals are the larger of our two seals…

A grasshopper sitting on a rock with a plant in the background

Common Field Grasshopper

A common sight is the Common Field Grasshopper like the one pictured here in Saltmills. Their colour can vary from green through brown, to almost black. More often heard than seen, they chirp away in the vegetation or on rocks and bare ground. They call in short repetitive fizzes or in longer spells sounding like…

A small bird on a pillar

Stonechat

The Stonechat gets its name from its call, similar to what you would hear if you took a pebble in each hand and hit them off each other. Similar in size to the robin it also has a reddish tinge to its breast. Both male and female are similar in appearance, apart from the males…

An black and white bird with a red bill on a beach

Oystercatcher

The Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) is a very distinct shore bird-black and white with a long bright red/orange beak and eyes. Its black/white colouration gave it its old name of sea pie (like the magpie inland). It does not catch oysters as its name suggests but rather mussels and other types of molluscs and worms. Its…

Two birds on a rock with blue water behind them

Redshank

This Oystercatcher (on the left) and Redshank (on the right) are enjoying the sun as they feast on Barnacles from the rocks down at Boyces Bay. The Redshank is a common wader especially found in coastal estuaries.It can be identified by it’s bright red legs and feeds mostly on worms. The Redshank has been red-listed…

A moth with red spotted wings with yellow daisy like flowers inthe background

Six-spot Burnet Moth

Six-spot Burnet’s have been seen in the area and are very common throughout Europe. These day flying moths are strikingly coloured metallic black with crimson spots, just to remind you that they contain cyanide!! They can be found especially on hot, sunny days from June to August. This individual is feeding off nectar from Ragwort…

A large bird stands on seaweed covered rocks with waves crashing in the background

Grey Heron

This hungry Heron appears completely unfazed down at Carnivan as angry waves close in. The Grey Heron is a native to Ireland and can be found in wetlands around the country. It feeds on fish, amphibians, small mammals, insects and reptiles. Grey Herons have a very diverse range and those in northerly parts have been…